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Mayor John Cooper, Sustainability Experts Meet on Carbon Emissions Reduction

1/25/2021
Andrea Fanta, andrea.fanta@nashville.gov

Mayor John Cooper today met with experts about reducing harmful carbon emissions in Nashville, a latest step in his work to make Davidson County’s neighborhoods cleaner, more livable and more climate-change resilient.

The recommendations Mayor John Cooper heard today - part of a report by the mayor’s 49-member sustainability advisory committee - could help Nashville cut local carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

“I am committed to making Nashville greener, healthier, and more resilient,” Mayor John Cooper said. “A key part of that mission is to bring environmental leaders and community members together, to tap into their expertise and hear their ideas. I want to thank the committee co-chairs, subcommittee chairs, and all members for their partnership as we work to confront the challenge of climate change and create a more livable city for every Nashvillian.”

Today’s meeting follows Mayor John Cooper’s earlier steps on sustainability, including a project to bring utility-scale solar power to Nashville and legislation to make buildings more energy efficient.

Reducing Local Carbon Emissions

Like other cities, Nashville’s homes and buildings, its utility industry, and its solid waste and transportation systems generate significant greenhouse gas emissions. Metro Government operations accounted for roughly 560,000 metric tons—with buildings and facilities contributing to the largest share, according to a 2017 inventory.

Community emissions totaled roughly 11.4 million metric tons, with nearly half coming from transportation and the other half from energy use in commercial, residential, and industrial buildings.

In 2019, Mayor John Cooper joined 474 other U.S. mayors in the Global Covenant of Mayors Agreement for climate leadership.

“We are pleased to present these recommendations that provide a roadmap, as well as a range of options, that will enable Nashville to reduce its contributions to climate change,” said Linda Breggin, who co-chairs the mayor’s sustainability committee. “The menu of actions provided in the report could allow Nashville to not only reduce the negative impacts of climate change, but also provide numerous other benefits—such as fostering economic development and improved health.”

Co-chair Eric Kopstain added, “this report has truly been a team effort and one that has relied upon the tireless efforts of a wide range of committed experts whose passion and expertise are so very appreciated to help us set the stage for a sustainable future of our city. We look forward to continuing the work of the committee and assisting with the implementation of these ambitious plans.”

Mayor John Cooper’s Earlier Sustainability Steps: Reducing Energy Use, Saving Homeowners Money and a Clean-Air Equivalent of Taking 14,000+ Cars Off the Road

Under Mayor John Cooper’s leadership, Metro Nashville in 2020 became the first local government to pursue access to utility-scale solar power in the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) service territory. As a result, more than a third of Metro government’s operations will be sourced with clean power—the equivalent of removing more than 14,000 cars from the road every year for 20 years.

Mayor John Cooper also worked with Metro Council to modernize Nashville’s building codes for greater energy efficiency in residential and commercial buildings. These upgrades could reduce energy use in newly-constructed homes by up to 30 percent—resulting in a net lifetime utility savings of $8,034 for Nashville homeowners.

Read the mayor’s sustainability advisory committee report and learn more about Mayor John Cooper’s sustainability efforts.